5 Tips for Styling a Bookshelf!

5 Tips to Styling a Bookshelf



Styling a bookshelf can be a daunting task, but using my 5 easy steps will  make your job much easier and help you get that beautiful bookshelf you are going for. 

I know how frustrating it can be to style a bookshelf and get that perfect, no cluttered, and balanced look. When done incorrectly, it can make some of your prized possessions look like a mess. I am in no way an expert, but my method has worked for me for  years. I thought sharing my five tips may help make your life a little easier when styling your own bookshelf. Before we get started, clear off the entire bookshelf so you have a clean slate to work with.

How to Style a bookshelf

1.Start With The Top Shelf

The top shelf is where I store some of my favorite pieces to display and is where my eyes naturally go when looking at the bookshelf. I usually do a grouping of three with varying heights on each side of the top shelf. This is a great place to be creative and show off some of your prized possessions or any breakables out of reach of children.

How to Style a bookshelf in 5 easy steps

2. Books

Starting from the top of the second shelf, place a group of books either vertically or horizontally throughout the bookshelf. This will give it a clean and balanced look.

How to Style a Bookshelf

How to style a bookshelf

3. Tall  Accents

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bookshelf filled with books. But if your bookshelf is in a prominent area and you need it to also act as a focal point for a room, I like to add a mix of accents along with my books. Next I add my tall accents in the larger empty spots.

How to Style a bookshelf in 5 easy steps

4. Incorporate Artwork or Family Photos

I am always changing out my bookshelf and layering different items all the time. So if you were to walk in my home, my bookshelves would never look the same. There are times I display artwork and times I just want a more simpler look. After incorporating your tall accents, now is the time to add in artwork or family photos to give your bookshelf a little texture or color. This could be a larger family photo for a more personal touch or a beautiful piece of art you found at an antique store.

Bookcase styling in a few easy steps

5. Smaller Accessories

Place smaller accessories on top of books or the empty spaces. This could be a collectable figurine, boxes, or small pictures.

How to Style a bookshelf in 5 easy steps

Once complete with the smaller accessories, I always step back to take the bookshelf all in. If something bothers me, I just remove it. This could take many tries. When uncertainty hits, I recommend you leave it for a few days and tweak again. Make sure you have a balance of texture, color, and varying heights when finished.

How to Style a bookshelf in 5 easy steps

Click HERE for 3 Ways to Style a Coffee Table.




  1. Thank you for the help Michelle. It looks beautiful. I’m sure I will refer back to this often. Very good advice!

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